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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: 2021 Begins

This week we look at a Pride engagement, Alex Morgan’s positive test, and other COVID-19 news.

Houston Dash v Orlando Pride Photo by Jeremy Reper/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Every year during the off-season I typically find myself being optimistic about the coming season. I was obviously wrong for many years, but this year I don’t think I am. When it comes to the Orlando Pride, it just has to get better doesn’t it? For Orlando City, have trust in what the front office and the coaching staff are building.

That being said, there are still things in the soccer world that give me hope, and others that give me pause. Let’s look at what caught my attention so far this year.

The Good

I love it when love wins, and that happened only three days ago when we found out that the Orlando Pride’s Toni Pressley and Marta are engaged to be married. The two posted a lovely picture on social media announcing their pending nuptials.

Assuming that both of them remain with the Pride that will make two couples in Pride purple, with the couple joining Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris. With everything else going on in this nation and the world, this bright bit of sunshine was a great way to start off 2021.

The Bad

The NWSL was the first professional league in the U.S. to return in 2020, hosting the Challenge Cup. MLS was able to follow their example with the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando. Many in the media mistakenly gave MLS the credit deserved by the NWSL. Since then, many leagues around the world have restarted, finished seasons, and even started new seasons. Now, the English Premier League is in danger of having to halt it’s season for a second year in a row thanks to players testing positive at nearly double the rate as a week ago. Don’t get me wrong, I loved watching Liverpool win the Premier League last year, and Orlando City make the playoffs for the first time in the MLS era. But that doesn’t mean we should take the pandemic any less seriously until we have widely distributed vaccine, and a massive drop in reported cases.

The Ugly

Alex Morgan was left off the USWNT roster for the January camp and the two friendlies against Colombia, due to a positive text for COVID-19. Morgan spend the holidays with her family, and was not the only one to test positive. I doubt that Morgan did anything that other members of the U.S. Women’s National Team did in regards to being with family. It is unfortunate that Morgan tested positive, but she let everyone know via social media, and has been open about what happened. USWNT Head Coach Vlatko Andonovski has said that U.S. Soccer will investigate the situation, It’s unfortunate any of it happened, and if Morgan broke protocol, she should be penalized, but in my opinion it could have happened to any of us.

That’s what got me going this week. Let me know your thoughts, or if I forgot something, let me know that as well.